February 16, 2007

The library as a place

Posted in Library promotion at 12:42 pm by Alexia

If the library as a place is soon to be a thing of the past someone forgot to tell the patrons of our library.  Since the beginning of the year the number of people daily visiting the library has gone up, as has our interactions with them.  Not only are they coming into our library but they are utilizing the library staff.  We have online forms they can fill out to request literature searches and ILLs but a majority of our requests come in person or over the phone.

And while Web 2.0 might encourage electronic collaboration there are still plenty of folk around here who like to meet face to face.  There are very few places to meet in the hospital at the last minute.  There are plenty of meeting rooms but they must be reserved.  We’ve opened up our AV room and Staff Lounge to people who wish to meet in a place more private than the cafeteria or lobby and this has met with tremendous success.  It’s a small gesture that has seemed to reap much good will and customer satisfaction.  It has made the librarians more visible because they must pass the reference desk to get to the rooms.  They see us interacting with other patrons.  In my opinion, the  more people exposed to the library in any way shape or form becomes one more person who is a library supporter.  An additional library supporter never hurts, does it?

3 Comments »

  1. obsto said,

    Brilliant idea! How do you allocate the space?

  2. Alexia said,

    Mostly it’s on a first come, first served basis though we will take “reservations”. By that we just put up a sign on the door to the AV room or the staff lounge saying the room is reserved during “thus and such” time. Also, if someone is using the AV room but not the AV equipment they would have to vacate the room if someone needed to use the VCR or DVD. We’ve never had a problem with that.

  3. Joy said,

    There’s been a lot of discussion lately on library space issues. You’re right about visitors–I’ve got lots and lots also. But they’re coming to the library to read the newspapers, meet, check their email, surf the web, etc. etc. I get most of my reference and ILL through email, the telephone, or the fax machine. Technology really has changed the role that a library plays in a hospital. There aren’t many quiet, pleasant places with computers where people feel comfortable (don’t get me started on waiting rooms which were invented by the Devil to torture friends and relatives!) in the modern hospital. If you read up on the Library as Place you’ll see a growing recognition of this role of the library. Hitting mostly academic libraries now but coming soon to a library near you.


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